Burnt Scalps and Popped Hips

 photo WP_20160814_005_e_zps7rkswqta.jpgBe gone, tall purple flowers! Next year: Lilies.

Oh, dear reader you’re a sight for sore eyes, but as I can’t see you I’ll assume it’s true, you’ve surely missed me, right? Again, I’ll assume and be happy in my ignorance. Where have I been you wonder? Rightfully so, I’ve been in the garden. Hmmm, I’m always in the garden? Well, not all the time, sometimes I’m in the kitchen and, look, I have a wonderfully varied life, nah, I’m not buying it either. Your forever friend Jack has been doing his impression of a beast of burden. The garden is getting a major overhaul and I’ve been hauling all the rubbish away. As you can see above the messy bed has been dug out, the lily bulbs have been re-potted and, cough, ‘neath the loamy soils lies the remains of towels and carpets past, yes  really, I covered those with weed-matting and bark, I hope it’ll suppress the weeds and flowers that plague that spot. As I’ve often repeated, a mantra at this point, low-maintenance is my goal, my hope, my aspiration, my prayer. Oh, let it be true.

 photo WP_20160814_003_e_zpsvxdcbngy.jpgSomeone else makes a mess and I clean it up. Okay I made it too.

 photo WP_20160815_003_e_zpskp1vzdwq.jpgThe sheet is being used to stop weeds, hey, it’s free.

Now, you, that’s you there, dear reader, might be saying to yourself: Well, you can wheel the barrow, you can shovel the soil, but what of the mind, dearest Jack, what of the potential of those little grey cells?, to pilfer a turn of phrase. Well, as I’ve often said: I’m not as green as I am cabbage looking. Look below and behold, no, not me!

 photo Cp1BgDfW8AAbz_B_zpswre8apjx.jpgTwo become one.

 photo Cp1BSB1WYAAondx_zpsb5qrjhbt.jpgOne becomes, er, one.

Okay, the top is a bit of a cheat as they just slot together. Those are the two grow-houses, photos from earlier on in the year admittedly, they’re rather worse for wear after all this time. Thankfully the frames are fine. They’re getting ready for transfer to the greenhouse. Which is getting there, albeit slowly. But the crowning achievement, the feather in my metaphorical cap is the bottom photo. That’s the walk-in grow-house, if you’re not as tall as I am at least, now converted to staging. So, you scornfully scoff, big whoop, you just connected the shelves, true, true sceptical reader, the top two parts were a cake-walk, a doddle, the remove of sugary products from infants, but here’s the trick: That bottom. Again, not mine! The raised part is made from sawed off roof poles, a total of thirteen poles, measured and cut by hand. The middle is two of the connectors glued and zip-tied together to give support, a shelf that even a heavy boot pressed onto it failed to buckle. So, yeah, not too bad, I didn’t want to see it wasted and due to the blocks raising the greenhouse the shelves wouldn’t get light at the lower level. It seems really solid, I hate to waste when I can help it and this was a gift. All joking aside, it took a lot of fiddling to get right, but I think it should be really useful. It’s funny what you can accomplish if you just try. I’m nothing special, but look at all I can do. Imagine what someone talented could create if they just tried.

 photo WP_20160816_022_e_zpssf8z7zqc.jpgThe smallest of the raised beds.

Even though it was scalding hot, hence the title, I did manage to drill and line two of the wooden planters. I think they were used to transport furniture or something like that. The liner is what they wrap hay in. Not too expensive and really strong. A couple of holes for drainage and it was ready. I placed it over that old stump as nothing can be grown in the ground in that area. I scrabbled around looking for more blocks to support it. I even used a rod from the greenhouse. I’m currently filling them with soil from all over, which will be topped with paper and compost from the compost bin and finally good potting compost. Come next year the whole lot should be a dark rich soil. I’ve seen it happen in the bulb bed, this is just a larger version.

 photo WP_20160816_034_e_zpsh4tmmf5j.jpgThe pole.

 photo WP_20160816_033_e_zpsullfq8yu.jpgThe surprise!

I bet you were wondering what became of the cover from the grow-house? Well, it’s now a cover for germinating seeds and helping soil to break down. It fit the two beds perfectly, I actually took it into my head just after taking the photos and it was the work of just a few minutes. A clothes peg will hold it down if needed.  I have no idea what will grow here, carrots and onions are planned for the second. There’s a third, but I’ll wait until I clean out the space for it. There’s quite a bit of work in drilling them and lining. They’re stained inside and out and hopefully the liner and drainage holes will help prevent rot. These are all peoples rubbish and now they’re my treasures. I feel there should be a proverb for that. Ah, well.

 photo WP_20160816_020_e_zpsdwkuj63j.jpgJust give Jack your rubbish. No, that’s not right.

 photo WP_20160816_032_e_zpsqsbonvyo.jpgGarbage for Jack. No, nah.

 photo WP_20160816_021_e_zps40uhjesj.jpgOne man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Eh, it’ll do.

 photo WP_20160816_027_e_zpsssubsoyo.jpgButternut squash, everywhere.

 photo WP_20160816_031_e_zpsiw2xgqxb.jpgStupidly long vines.

Well, it turns out squash can indeed climb, they’ve taken to the wigwams really well. There hasn’t been any fruit set, but I’m rather hopeful as there are a lot of blossoms waiting. It’s hard to say what they’ll do. It’s my first and last year trying squash this large, they’re just too big. It’ll be fun if they do set fruit and it reaches maturity, but it’s a long-shot. The other squash are doing amazingly. The harlequin are setting second sets of fruit and the golden nugget are growing really large. There’s still a lot of work left. If I get it all done this year I should be able to just enjoy it next year. I’m buying my bulbs for next month, a mix of whatever I can get at reasonable prices. This has been fun as always, I hope to be back with new recipes. I’ll see you when I see you. Later.

 photo WP_20160816_029_e_zpsn0xrryjz.jpgCyril! You’ve finally become a mother. Congratulations.

 photo WP_20160816_030_e_zpstfzduehf.jpgCatch up squash done good.

 photo WP_20160816_025_e_zpsevxitzdg.jpgTwo sets are growing close together like this. They’re gaining their pattern and growing simultaneously.

 photo WP_20160816_026_e_zpsba20vmue.jpgThey’re supported on pots and trays and whatever comes to hand.

 photo WP_20160816_023_e_zpst30vqw7w.jpgBig ole golden nugget.

 photo WP_20160816_024_e_zpsyioa7l6q.jpgLittle ones too. One is pear shaped.

P.S: I may have popped my hip when sitting down. I really have no words. Ouch, maybe.


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